Upper East Guide: Logos Book Store

When I travel, I always look for bookstores.  They are a much-needed place to walk around after hours in the air - although I confess it is usually a challenge to avoid buying a stack of new titles.


Barnes & Nobles are great, but smaller shops are heavenly.  After we moved to the Upper East Side a few years ago, I was excited to discover the Logos Book Store on York Avenue.


I immediately knew these were my peeps when I walked in and saw one of my all-time favorite books - Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast" - on the table just inside the front door.


While this article in The New York Times focuses on their vast collections of Bibles and other religious-themed materials, they have a rather eclectic assortment.  New and used books, ranging from current bestsellers, classic fiction and travel - to a curiously large section of Curious George in the children's section.  There is also an entire section dedicated to "C.S. Lewis and Friends."


The shop hosts a regular calendar of events, from children's story times to reading groups for a variety of books. When I dropped by earlier this week, the booksellers were lamenting they had to cancel that evening's "Sacred Texts" reading group because of the expectation that the first Presidential debate would keep people away.


On this particular morning, I actually managed to get out of the store only buying one small paperback.

Logos Book Store,  1575 York Avenue (between 83rd and 84th Streets).

Please chime in and share your favorite book stores! 

Catch a Few More ZZZs

On a business trip this week, my husband's hotel room included this handy "tip sheet" for getting a good night's sleep.

Business travelers must be presumed to be sleep-deprived group, as the book on which this promotion is based - The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington - is probably the most visible title on display at airport newsstands and book stores this spring.

Some of these tips are pretty easy for me - especially #3 and #7, since I only drink decaf coffee and tea. 

And while I could definitely do a better job on "unplugging" from electronic devices a little earlier, reading an actual physical book (#6) is like a sleeping pill for me.  No matter how good it is, 10 minutes after I start reading, that book will likely fall with a thud on the floor as I doze off.  (Maybe that's why the stack of nine books on my nightstand never gets any shorter).

I'd be tempted to buy this book, but even though I enjoy her writing - I'd probably be asleep by the end of the first chapter.

Do you find it a challenge to get a good night's sleep?  Which of these work for you?

New York Notes: The Writing Room

If I could create the living room, dining room or den of my dreams, it would pretty much look like this - but with fewer tables.

Photo: The Writing Room, 1703 Second Avenue, NYC

Photo: The Writing Room, 1703 Second Avenue, NYC

But since that's not happening anytime soon, having this spot nearby is a pretty good substitute.

This is my favorite dining area of The Writing Room, which just happens to be two blocks from our apartment.  You may not have heard of this restaurant - which opened in Fall 2013 - but you might know of the former occupant of the space, Elaine's.

Weirdly, I knew about Elaine's - even when growing up in Missouri.  Remember this lyric to the Billy Joel song "Big Shot"?

"They were all impressed with your Halston dress, and the people that you knew at Elaine's."

Since I was obsessed with New York from a very young age, that lyric always stuck in my head.

I am also a huge fan of Woody Allen movies - and the opening scenes of one of my favorites, '"Manhattan," were shot at Elaine's.



Although well past its heyday as a hangout for writers and celebrities, Elaine's was still open when I moved to NYC. 

By the time Scott and I moved to the Upper East Side in 2012, it had closed (the restaurant did not survive after Elaine's death in 2010).  The Writing Room opened in the space a year later, and quickly became a go-to place for date nights and to take friends from out of town.

From the name to the décor and menu, the new owners paid homage to the literary history of the space.  There are several dining rooms - including a gorgeous zinc bar - but my absolute favorite is booked-lined Study.

Oh - and the food is amazing.  I never went to Elaine's, but always heard that people didn't go there for the food. From the short rib cannelloni to the lamb shank with grits, The Writing Room's version of upscale comfort food has never disappointed.   

Last night, my friend Kay was in town, and ventured uptown to visit over dinner.  The onion soup - with a savory crouton and thick, golden layer of gruyere - was perfect for a cold February night, as was the crispy skin salmon with dill sauce and fingerling potatoes.  And if you're not afraid of carbs, you'll face a tough choice from the assortment of olive, cheese and rosemary breads they bring around to your table. 

Do these books make us look smart?

Do these books make us look smart?

If you go, I recommend requesting a table in the Study if it is available.  You can even browse the books - and crack one open if you wish. 


"A Curious Mind"

Among the dozen or so books I have read this summer (more on those later) is “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life" by Hollywood producer Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman.  

Despite the second half of its title, this is NOT a self-help book.  Rather, it is a must-read for students and recent grads, especially those in public relations, advertising, journalism, film, business, theatre and related fields.   

A provocative read, it reveals how inquisitiveness and curiousity are keys to connecting with your audience, readers, customers and coworkers.  Fans of Grazer's TV shows and films - which include “24,” “A Beautiful Mind" and "Apollo 13" - will enjoy the back-stories on many of these productions.

This is not bedtime reading. I couldn't put it down, and it generated so many ideas that I had to jot down thoughts as I read.

(Bonus material:  You'll learn the story behind the spiky hair).